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Mid April

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:26 pm
by marmite

We're visiting Yosemite for the first time during mid April, and I was hoping to get some advice on weather conditions and how this might affect ground conditions and roads etc. We don't plan to do anything too full on as my wife is currently pregnant and we're not hardened hikers. We were thinking about hiking to Vernal and Nevada Falls, although this is just an idea at this point. I know the weather can't be predicted but can anyone give us any advice on what the conditions might be like on that trail? If it snows, does it get deep or is it likely to be just a ground covering? And also will we need tire chains?

Thanks in advance!

Re: Mid April

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:46 pm
by dan
Here's a climate/weather chart for Yosemite Valley:

There's often snow on the south (shady) side of Yosemite Valley. It sometimes snows in April. If it does snow, it will be just a light ground covering.

Take a look for yourself. Here's a webcam of Yosemite Valley (click on "Ahwahnee Meadow"):

Vernal falls will be open and clear (unless there's an unusual snowstorm). The trail to Nevada Falls is usually still blocked by ice and snow in April.

You usually don't need chains in Yosemite in March. Here's the official word:

Re: Mid April

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:22 pm
by AlmostThere
I wouldn't take a pregnant woman on the steps of the Mist Trail even if there were no chance of ice or snow. If it's open there's tons of people on narrow and steep granite steps bumping past each other. Being jostled or just losing your footing in the wrong spot can be dangerous.

You can get to the top of Vernal and Nevada by taking the JMT up to the point and going down the alternate route.

Just strolling around the valley floor is pretty awe inspiring. Short stuff like Mirror Lake and Bridalveil and Lower Yosemite Falls are easy and very little climbing.

Re: Mid April

PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:48 am
by marmite
Thanks for your replies!